Unlike with phones, monitoring Internet usage on Windows 10 isn’t something we do all that often. The fact that we’re usually hooked up to a home Internet connection without the limits and restrictions of a data connection probably plays a big part in that. But maybe you’re tethering your Windows PC through a phone or are curious to know how much data that online game you play uses.
There are various reasons you may want to keep track of your Internet usage in Windows 10, and here we’re going to show you how to do it.
Use the Task Manager for Windows Apps
For a very general overview of which Windows apps use the most data each month, you can use the trusty Windows Task Manager. Press Ctrl + Alt + Escape to open the Task Manager, then click “More details” to get the full Task Manager view.
Next, click the “App history” tab, then click Network to order the listed apps by network usage over the last month. As you can see here, “Mail and Calendar” eats up quite a lot of data even though we rarely use them. It may be a good time to think about stopping those auto-sync features built into those apps if you’re concerned about data usage.
Use Settings for All Apps/Programs
If you want to view monthly data usage for all apps in Windows 10 – not just UWP apps – then you can do so through Windows Settings.
To do this, go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Data usage.” On the right side of the window, click the network name that you want to view data usage for, and you’ll see a list of apps in order of how much data they’ve used over the past month. In the Data usage window you can also set a data limit by selecting the active network from the drop-down menu and clicking “Set limit” under “Data limit.”
This is a good way to see, for instance, how much data an online game uses each month or whether your Chrome browsing habits are as data-devouring as you think (Answer: probably).
Probably the most popular network monitoring tool around, NirSoft’s NetworkUsageView, gives you a super-detailed breakdown of how much up-and-down data every single process on your PC uses – from games to system processes and everything in between.
It can be a little overwhelming at first, but there are all kinds of filters that let you whittle down what you’re looking at – whether it’s by name, time period, or amount of data sent or received. If you’re looking to dig a little deeper into the comings and goings of your Internet traffic on Windows 10, then this is the way to do it.
If you want a more detailed look at how much data your Windows 10 PC is using at any given moment or over specific time periods that can range from minutes to weeks and up to the whole year, then the open-source tool BitMeter is a good choice. It’s very detailed, and once you’ve installed it, it runs straight from your browser. (If you have trouble with the browser version, you can try BitMeter 2, which installs an actual app).
As well as getting a detailed breakdown of your Internet usage, you can also set alerts for high data usage over a given period, much like you would on your phone. So if you have a monthly data allowance, you can get BitMeter to let you know when you’re nearing it.
Want to keep diddling around with your Windows 10 network settings? Here’s how to check which ports are in use on Windows 10 (useful when assigning a port to BitMeter). Want to know exactly what the mysterious Internet dark matter known as “Ping” is? We can explain ping for you, too.